One of the bubbliest characters in golf, Darren Clarke is the 2011 Open champion and winner of 21 other tournaments during a career spanning three decades.
His surprise success at Royal St George’s in 2011 came at the ripe old age of 42, after 54 previous attempts at winning one of golf’s majors.
The Northern Irishman is a true Ryder Cup legend, representing Europe in five successive events between 1997 and 2006. He was on the winning team against the USA on four memorable occasions.
Clarke won the hearts of sports fans around the world after taking his place on the European team in 2006, just six weeks after his beloved wife Heather had passed away. Earning a maximum three points from his three matches, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he lifted the trophy.
Between 2000 and 2002 Clarke was a fixture in the world Top 10, and it was during this period that he won two World Golf Championship events, including the prestigious WGC Match Play Championship.
In 2012 he was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen for services to golf.
Clarke was proudly named captain of the European Ryder Cup team for the 2016 event at Hazeltine in Minnesota, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to inspire victory.